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How can I get spousal support?

When working through a divorce, having questions is inevitable. Every divorce is unique, and the questions and concerns that arise will not be the same for everyone. However, there are a few issues that will affect numerous Massachusetts couples. One of these issues could pertain to spousal support.

Spousal support or alimony, is not an automatic consideration in divorce. This is a separate request that can either be included in the divorce complaint or filed after a divorce is finalized. In Massachusetts, there are four categories of alimony payments, each with different terms and conditions; these are general term alimony, rehabilitative alimony, reimbursement alimony and transitional alimony. Regardless of when a request for spousal support is made, a judge will decide if it is warranted and what category of alimony to award. General conditions for alimony requests include:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Age of each spouse
  • Income
  • Standard of living
  • Overall health of each spouse

If alimony is denied or a modification is desired, it is possible to file a complaint for modification. Again, it will be up to a judge to approve any modification requests. Proof that a change in financial circumstances has occurred is generally required for modification requests to be considered.

Figuring out financial affairs post-divorce can certainly be a challenge. For some individuals in Massachusetts, alimony can play an essential part in beginning a new life and is not something that should be left to chance. While getting spousal support is never a guarantee, filing the proper request along with all applicable documentation and proof can certainly help in getting the request for alimony approved.

Source: mass.gov, “The Alimony Process“, Jan. 8, 2015

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